Ferment the Seasons

All that you touch / You Change. / All that you Change / Changes you. / The only lasting truth / Is Change.

Earthseed: The Books of the Living by Lauren Oya Olamina

Like our eco-cultural approach to art and events, the the styles and methods we practice in fermenting foods are fundamentally part of the seasonal shifts in our local landscape.

Living in the West Coast of Ireland we are graced with an ever shifting landscape of herbs, flowers, and mushrooms — with a bounty of wild yeasts from the karst and Galway Bay sea vegetables fed by the minerals of the Burren.

We are also blessed by a mélange of joy from various flora cultivated by growers like Annie Nolan, Liam Heneghan, Moy HIll, Beechlawn Organic Farm, and others… including a few bits we steward ourselves.

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AN T-EARRACH (Spring)

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Coming into spring means sharing the last of the fermented autumn, we celebrate the new growth and the beginnings of a joyous wave of gathering — Wild Garlic, Ground Elder, Nettle, Dandelion, & a new flow of Seaweeds.

This is also cultivation time as we are stewarding young plants, topping up fruiting chambers, feeding yeasts, and indulging in a colorful array of microgreens — while opening the occasional crock of miso, combining autumn pickles with the joys of spring, and making ever more hot sauce!

Aiteach Hot Sauce is our core condiment, a recipe we’ve been making & developing for over 20 years

Fermented Carrots, Onions & Apricots bring out just a touch of sweetness from Galway grown Chilis

We make various seasonal spicy condiments, we call Mighty Hot Sauces, based on Liam Heneghan's Chili crops & our hand-crafted vinegars — like our Goth Sauce which uses Beetroot to give depth & balance to Chilis like Wraith, Reapers, & other spicy delights.

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AN SAMHRADH (Summer)

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Early crops, sealine foraging, and wild yeasts galore —Pickling is in full swing!

There are so many lovely things to to lacto-brine ferment and the flowers are in full bloom, which means a diversity of Wild yeasts… which means its a great time to ferment wild sodas, beer, and wine — at the same time we are cultivating Koji for Misos and Tempeh for summer pop-up events.

There are no hard timelines in the queer world we live in… some things come to us a bit earlier, some a bit later each year – in addition to dancing with the shifting Summer flora, this is definitely a time to focus on learning, growing, sharing knowledge and cultivating our systems of support.

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AN FÓMHAIR (Autumn)

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This is when we preserve the harvest — as we continue gathering, cultivating, and being in conversation with community… it’s peak fermentation season!

Beyond the need to preserve the harvests, its also a period of play!

Ferment those fruits or add them to things you make all year. Get those chilis into everything. Make some miso from all that squash. Gather mushrooms!

It’s a truly joyous working, share it if you can.

Burren Kymchi

We brought our decades long love affair with Korean spice to the Burren — using Galway Bay foraged Seaweeds to create an umami rich, vegan friendly, Irish Vegetable fermented Kimchi-style!

The types of vegetables we use cycle with us; Radish, Swede, Carrot, Celeriac, or Kohlrabi make appearances throughout the year and the variety of cabbage seems ever changing – all depending on what Annie is harvesting.

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Wild Irish Kraut

a traditional German-style sauerkraut with an Irish twist

Seasonally Foraged Greens — Wild Garlic, Ground Elder, Nettle, Dandelion Leaf

In addition to the traditional Caraway, we add Pouldoody grown Carrots, Celery Seed, Dillisk & other Seaweeds. 

Like with many of our ferments, we'll also add a bit of koji if its going. 

We do love our chili

We infuse Irish Rapeseed Oil with Star Anise, Sichuan Pepper, Cardamon, & other tasty bits to a blend of Dried Chili Flakes & Korean Gochugaru

We then boost the mix with Dehydrated Kymchi Powder & Lacto-brine Pickled Garlic.

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AN GEIMHREADH (Winter)

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In addition to having all that microbe filled bounty doing their slow groove in crock and jars, there are still seaweeds to engage with, and some funga about… including the mycelium we cultivate through tempeh, miso and our wee fruiting chambers.

This time of year we like to gather together with our forged family and friends – its a time of communal meals, spiritual fermentation, and planning for the coming moons.

Winter is a time to ferment ourselves.